About the Soil-Net project

Soil is increasingly making its way as a topic up the political agenda in the UK and in wider Europe. At this time, when forthcoming UK legislation and EU Directives will make specific reference to soil and its importance, there is a lack of sound advice and reference on how soil affects our lives. We often read about air pollution and water pollution but more rarely do we hear of soil pollution and yet as the third 'media' of our natural environment, protecting the scarce and fragile soil resource is more important that ever.

Soil affects each of us in our everyday lives whether we realise it or not, from the food we eat to our leisure pursuits, the careers we choose to the foundations our houses are built upon and so on. The importance of soil and the 'functions' it performs, and the 'threats' it faces are often misunderstood and misrepresented. There is therefore a compelling case to present a clear statement as to soil and the soil-net project sets out to do this, from presenting educational materials related to differing age groups and levels of experience to bringing to the reader's attention the current developments affecting soils-related policy making and soil science.

Another key element presented on this website is the World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue, or WOSSAC. Essentially the WOSSAC project revolves around a concern apparent for many years now that the huge wealth of information and literature collected over the previous 50-60 years by soil scientists around the world is in great danger of being lost and dispersed and sadly even destroyed as companies and governments change and as individuals retire. The archive and catalogue was therefore established by Cranfield University, together with the initial help of the British Society of Soil Science, to draw together all these materials. We are now holding many thousands of maps, reports, books, field books, survey reports, land assessments etc. etc. in the carefully managed storage facility. Our initial goal (with advice from Cranfield's library) has been to create a catalogue of these items according to international standards (MARC21) and to make this catalogue available over the Internet. This is a significant task.

The Soil-Net.com project is presented by the National Soil Resources Institute (NSRI) of Cranfield University, UK, the leading Institution of soil science and soil-related research in England and Wales. We hope you enjoy the site and let us know what you think! All materials presented are copyright © Cranfield University, unless otherwise stated. 'Soil-Net' is a trademark of the Soil-Net project.